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International Baccalaureate students garner $16.9 million in scholarship offers

IB Pin and Stole ceremony PS
Keynote speaker Leo Gomez, of Spurs Sports & Entertainment, places a stole on an IB graduate during
the May 23 Pin & Stole Ceremony. The amount in scholarship offers received by this year's seniors was announced at the event.

International Baccalaureate students garner $16.9 million in scholarship offers

SAISD Communications

Thirty-four seniors in Luther Burbank High School’s prestigious college-preparatory International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme have collectively garnered $16.9 million in scholarship offers this year, up from $9.7 million in offers for last year’s graduating class.

This year’s graduating seniors received 310 acceptances to 110 colleges and universities. They include elite institutions, such as the Ivy League’s Brown University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College and the University of Pennsylvania, and flagship schools, such as the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Texas at Austin.

“These kids took on the challenge and didn’t look back,” said IB coordinator Candace Michael, who likes to call the program the “best kept secret” in San Antonio. The first class of Burbank IB students graduated in 2000.

The program was launched in Switzerland in 1968 and is designed to provide students with the kind of ‘international’ education that will equip them for competing in a global, 21st-century economy. The program was initially taught mostly at private international schools but today is offered at public and private schools around the world. Burbank’s program is the only IB program in the city of San Antonio, and it is free to students.

Michael said the increase in scholarship offers this year can be attributed, in part, to students being admitted to selective private schools that not only have costlier tuition but cover most, if not all, costs. The program also has five more graduates this year.

Students in the program take a rigorous curriculum and perform at high academic levels. For instance, this school year, the program includes three Commended Scholars in the National Merit Competition and five Hispanic Scholars of the College Board. This graduating class also has one member of the Johns Hopkins University Young Achievers program, senior Eugene Rohrer.

“It’s an intense curriculum,” Rohrer said about the IB program. “It is going to push you very hard academically, but in the end, it is going to open so many doors and is worth more than the investment.”

Students enrolled in the program take IB courses in their junior and senior years. During that time, they are required to study seven courses – in the four core areas, a foreign language, a fine arts course and the Theory of Knowledge course, giving them a well-rounded liberal arts college-prep education.

In addition to rigorous coursework, students complete a 4,000-word extended research essay and participate in activities that represent creativity, action and service – 12,019 such hours of which were accumulated by IB students in the Class of 2012. Also, at the end of the program, students take at least a dozen written examinations that are graded by external IB examiners around the world.

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